Daily Archives: December 9, 2012

(CSM) Same-sex marriage: Waiting now for the Supreme Court to act

The US Supreme Court’s announcement this week that it will take up two key same-sex marriage cases sets the scene now for several months of legal speculation and deeply-felt advocacy.

The speculation has to do with how the high court will act once it begins considering the issue, likely next spring. Who will it hear arguments from? Will it come down strongly and clearly for or against gay marriage? Or will it rule narrowly, sending the cases back to lower courts for further deliberation or perhaps simply letting those courts’ rulings stand?

In other words, same-sex marriage may be the “defining civil rights issue of our time,” as high-profile attorneys Theodore Olson and David Boies argue in their case against California’s Proposition 8 ban on gay marriage. But it will not necessarily be settled broadly for all Americans and for all time as a constitutional issue.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, America/U.S.A., Law & Legal Issues, Marriage & Family, Religion & Culture, Sexuality

(NY Times Beliefs) Poking Fun at Nuns Onstage, With Big Returns

When did nuns become funny?

Was it in 1967, when Sally Field first donned her absurd cornette and took flight in the ABC comedy “The Flying Nun”? Maybe it was 1985, when the musical “Nunsense” made its Off Broadway debut ”” soon to procreate, paradoxically, many sequels. Certainly nuns were safe sport by 1992, when Whoopi Goldberg appeared in “Sister Act,” a movie that later became a play in the West End in London and on Broadway.

Americans began laughing at nuns just as the nuns lost the power to defend themselves. In the early 1960s, Catholic nuns were plentiful, working in schools, hospitals and orphanages, and visible, wearing the habits prescribed by their orders. Today their numbers are diminishing, and many of them wear civilian clothes.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * General Interest, * Religion News & Commentary, Humor / Trivia, Other Churches, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic, Theatre/Drama/Plays

(Anglican Ink) A Note of clarification from the Bishop of Upper South Carolina

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * South Carolina, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: South Carolina

(Local Paper Editorial) Pope Benedict must keep his tweets short and sweet

Twitter’s message limit of 140 text characters is ideally suited to the brief attention spans of these relentlessly distracted times. But an 85-year-old man will soon re-confirm another trend: This social media craze is no longer limited to the young.

Pope Benedict XVI will start posting tweets on Wednesday under “the handle” @pontifex, a term that means “bridge builder” in Latin.

That Monday announcement from the Vatican reveals another modernizing attempt by a generally old-school pontiff, born in 1927, to reach 2012 audiences. The pope plans to accept questions about matters of faith via the hashtag #askpontifex. Presumably, he’ll offer uplifting insights designed to bring souls who have strayed back into the fold.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, --Social Networking, Blogging & the Internet, Other Churches, Pope Benedict XVI, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic

Episcopal Church of the Holy Cross delivering 300 appliances to New Jersey storm victims

Volunteers from the Church of the Holy Cross barely had time to warm their feet after a relief trip to New Jersey last week before others from the church headed north to deliver 300 appliances to Hurricane Sandy victims.

What started with a simple desire to help blossomed into a huge response of giving.

“I feel like I’m holding on to a freight train,” said Chris Donavan, a church member who experienced Hurricane Hugo with three small children and wanted to assist Sandy’s victims. She put out a call for donations and was overwhelmed with response.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * General Interest, * South Carolina, Natural Disasters: Earthquakes, Tornadoes, Hurricanes, etc., Parish Ministry, Pastoral Care

Andy Statman's Search for God Through Bluegrass and Klezmer

Andy Statman stood in the narrow basement of an Orthodox synagogue improbably wedged among the boîtes and boutiques of Greenwich Village. He wore a plain blue suit and white shirt, and from his waist hung tzitzit, the fringes meant to remind an observant Jew of the 613 commandments. Twisting together the pieces of his clarinet, he ran through a glissando that seemed to corkscrew through the air.

Four rows of folding chairs were arranged before Mr. Statman, and in them sat about 15 people, several in yarmulkes, one an Australian woman whose music teacher back home had instructed her to find and hear Andy Statman. The basement’s shelves bore Talmudic volumes and Sabbath candlesticks, and the room was so chilly on this November night that nearly all the listeners had kept on their coats.

“This is concert probably, what, 6-something, 650?” Mr. Statman asked his drummer, Larry Eagle.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Judaism, Music, Other Faiths, Religion & Culture

Coming for the First time–Twitter Christmas sermons for Anglican bishops

Britain’s senior Anglican bishops will be tweeting their Christmas Day sermons for the first time this year.

The Archbishop of Canterbury and the archbishop-designate, as well as clergy and congregations around the UK, will be celebrating the birth of Jesus in a campaign making use of social media.

Worshippers in the Church’s 16,000 parishes are being encouraged to tweet on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, --Social Networking, Anglican Provinces, Blogging & the Internet, Christmas, Church of England (CoE), Church Year / Liturgical Seasons, CoE Bishops, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Preaching / Homiletics

A Prayer to Begin the Day

O great and glorious God, holy and immortal, who searches out the policies of nations and tries the hearts of men: Come, we pray thee, in judgment, upon the nations of the world; come and bring to destruction all that is contrary to thy holy will for mankind, and cause the counsels of the wicked to perish. Come, O Lord, into our hearts, and root out from them that thou seest, and we cannot see, to be unlike the Spirit of thy Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

–Harold Anson

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Advent, Church Year / Liturgical Seasons, Spirituality/Prayer

From the Morning Scripture Readings

Let me sing for my beloved a love song concerning his vineyard: My beloved had a vineyard on a very fertile hill. He digged it and cleared it of stones, and planted it with choice vines; he built a watchtower in the midst of it, and hewed out a wine vat in it; and he looked for it to yield grapes, but it yielded wild grapes. And now, O inhabitants of Jerusalem and men of Judah, judge, I pray you, between me and my vineyard. 4 What more was there to do for my vineyard, that I have not done in it? When I looked for it to yield grapes, why did it yield wild grapes? And now I will tell you what I will do to my vineyard. I will remove its hedge, and it shall be devoured; I will break down its wall, and it shall be trampled down. I will make it a waste; it shall not be pruned or hoed, and briers and thorns shall grow up; I will also command the clouds that they rain no rain upon it. For the vineyard of the LORD of hosts is the house of Israel, and the men of Judah are his pleasant planting; and he looked for justice, but behold, bloodshed; for righteousness, but behold, a cry!

–Isaiah 5:1-7

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

Presiding Bishop of Episcopal Church coming to SC in Jan. 2013 for "Special Convention"

Read it all and there is more here.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * South Carolina, Ecclesiology, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, Presiding Bishop, TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: South Carolina, TEC Diocesan Conventions/Diocesan Councils, TEC Polity & Canons, Theology

Army Navy goes Down to the Very End

Congratulations to Navy and especially Keenan Reynolds who won the game with his arm. My heart goes out to Army Quarterback Trent Steelman, it was hard to watch him after the game–KSH.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Defense, National Security, Military, Sports

Love and Fidelity Network Opposes Harvard's Recognition of Group Mixing Violence and Sexuality

“The Love and Fidelity Network opposes Harvard University’s formal recognition and funding of a group that seeks to associate human sexuality with violence, oppression, and humiliation,” Director of Programs Caitlin Seery said. “Universities should foster an environment where the dignity and beauty of sexuality is honored and affirmed ”“ and where reasoned debate is welcomed among those of goodwill who disagree over what constitutes the true dignity and beauty of human sexuality. Groups like Munch, however, do not seek to participate in that important debate. Rather, BDSM groups dishonor and degrade human sexuality precisely by associating it with violence and humiliation.”

“Our opposition isn’t about banning groups with whom we disagree or censoring private behavior. We support the recognition of many groups with whom we disagree precisely because we think an honest debate about how best to honor the dignity and beauty of sexuality is needed. It is about whether Harvard University should subsidize the promotion of violent and abusive behavior, which endangers all students, particularly women, both psychologically and physically.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Anthropology, Education, Ethics / Moral Theology, Men, Sexuality, Theology, Violence, Women, Young Adults

Mark Driscoll: 'Puff or Pass, Should Christians in Washington State Smoke Pot or Not?'

Over the years [when asked this question about using marijuana], my default answer has been Romans 13:1”“7, which basically says that believers must submit to the laws of government as long as there is no conflict with the higher laws of God in Scripture. This was a simple way to say “no” to recreational pot smoking. But now that recreational marijuana use is no longer illegal (according to my state laws, at least), the guiding question is now twofold:

Is using marijuana sinful, or is it wise?

Some things are neither illegal (forbidden by government in laws) nor sinful (forbidden by God in Scripture), but they are unwise. For example, eating a cereal box instead of the food it contains is not illegal or sinful””it’s just foolish. This explains why the Bible speaks not only of sin, but also folly, particularly in places such as the book of Proverbs. There are innumerable things that won’t get you arrested or brought under church discipline, but they are just foolish and unwise””the kinds of things people often refer to by saying, “That’s just stupid.”

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Anthropology, Drugs/Drug Addiction, Ethics / Moral Theology, Evangelicals, Law & Legal Issues, Men, Ministry of the Ordained, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Theology, Urban/City Life and Issues, Young Adults

Peter Berger reviews Robert Wuthnow's new book–Why Americans Don't Think God Talk is Weird

In an age of modern science, can supposedly “reasonable” people harbor hope for Heaven? Or salvation through Jesus Christ? Can faith be plausible in the face of the billions of galaxies discovered by modern astronomy?

In The God Problem: Expressing Faith and Being Reasonable (University of California Press), Princeton University’s Robert Wuthnow brings his sociological acumen to bear on these most vexing of questions. Wuthnow, arguably the most productive and insightful sociologist of American religion, deploys rich empirical evidence against the widespread notion that faith and reason, religion and science, are engaged in a struggle for the soul of America. The evidence indicates that for many religious people there is no conflict but rather a creative tension, which they manage by establishing a balance between two distinct ways of looking at the world.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Books, Religion & Culture, Science & Technology, Sociology

(Vatican Radio) The Vatican welcomes appointment of new Anglican Centre director

The Pontifical Council for the Promoting Christian Unity has welcomed the appointment of a new director for the Anglican Centre in Rome and representative of the Archbishop of Canterbury to the Vatican. Archbishop David Moxon of Waikato, the senior Anglican bishop in New Zealand, will take up his new post after Easter 2013, following the retirement of the current director, Canon David Richardson.

Following the announcement from Lambeth Palace on Tuesday, the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity issued a note saying “It is felt that Archbishop Moxon’s considerable experience and gifts will suit him well for this important position which has such a significant role in relations between the Holy See and Canterbury, confirming the bonds of affection between Anglicans and Roman Catholics, and assisting our mutual understanding and work. As co-chairman of ARCIC (Anglican Roman Catholic International Commission) the appointment will lend even greater prominence to the progress of this long-standing dialogue.”
Since taking on the task of Anglican co-chair of ARCIC III, Archbishop Moxon has been working closely with the Pontifical Council and other Catholic experts in the ecumenical world. During a recent visit to Rome, he told Vatican Radio’s Philippa Hitchen that he’s optimistic about the amount of progress already made between Anglicans and Catholics….

Listen to it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury, Ecumenical Relations, Europe, Italy, Other Churches, Pope Benedict XVI, Roman Catholic, Theology

From the Do Not Take Yourself too Seriously Department

Oh my &^%, trying to get a four year old dressed in the morning is like trying to gift-wrap a live ferret.

–Playwright David Lindsay-Abaire on his twitterfeed

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * General Interest, Children, Humor / Trivia, Marriage & Family